This week we got some very sad news in the reading world. Pornokitsch, one of the largest reading blog/sites around and site that constantly feels dangerous to have in your google history at work, is shutting down. PK has been a valued resource for readers and other reviewers for years, and is part of the reason I decided to get into reviewing in the first place.
Jared in particular, the PK member who handles most of the fantasy content, is one of the best reviewers out there – bringing tons of insight and wit to all his reviews. I regularly disagree with him on his assessments of books, but think that all of his opinions are well argued and worth listening to because he takes a ton of time and effort to formulate them.
The reasons cited for PK shutting down is that it just wasn’t fun enough to do anymore. I can definitely understand that mentality, we were unable to get a post out this Tuesday just due to how busy we are, and having to deal with that sort of impact on your life for the 10 years that PK ran must have been exhausting. However, while I wish them the best of luck and understand why they are closing shop I will still miss them dearly, and maybe The Quill to Live can make the best of a sad thing and shamelessly steal part of their reader base.
In honor of PK, we wanted to highlight some of their posts from over the years we liked in no particular order. If you haven’t every checked out PK, now is as good a time as any and we hope that people still use the existing content for years to come:
-The QTL Team
With the 40th Anniversary of the release of Star Wars: A New Hope, Penguin Random House has released a Star Wars short story collection titled From A Certain Point of View. To coincide with this, Unbound Worlds has published stories from a group of authors, who are all Star Wars fans, about how they came to love the Star Wars universe in a piece titled A Long Time Ago. Last time we mentioned Unbound Worlds it was to give you an extra resource to find new books in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy sub genres thanks to one of their well-crafted lists. A Long Time Ago is just as good, with some wonderfully written and thoughtful pieces by a variety of great authors.
One of the reasons Star Wars has been and continues to be such a huge franchise is that it appeals to people for countless reasons, and this collection of stories gives you an eloquent view into the way it has influenced a bunch of authors’ lives. There are pieces on an inspiring love of the entire series, the pull of Dark Side, the strong heroines throughout the Star Wars movies, the inclusivity present in the galaxy far, far, away, and more.
The reason I absolutely loved reading all the stories in A Long Time Ago was how relatable so many of the stories were. These are people who fell in love with Star Wars just like I did, and whose love still runs deep to this day. These are the people that would nod knowingly when I explained how I sat in awe when I watched the 1995 THX remastered trilogy with my family one weekend, and how I proceeded to re-watch one movie after school every day when I came home for about a year. These are fans who get goosebumps when they hear the first crescendo of the main title, just like me.
The other reason I enjoyed reading through this collection of short stories is that, as long as you have a strong love for any particular franchise, you can relate to the way these authors feel about Star Wars. One of my favorite things to do is ask people to tell me about what their favorite series is and why. It is always a fun experience to hear what aspects of a series appealed most to people, and I think it helps me get to know who a person is. A Long Time Ago is basically textual nectar for me since all the stories coincide with my own love, but even if Star Wars is not your cup of tea (or blue milk), I think reading about the parts of the Star Wars Universe that spoke to these authors will help you get to know them better and give you a better appreciation of its influence on their storytelling.
If you have some free time, go check out some of these short stories! Max Gladstone(author of the Craft Sequence) and Peter Clines(author of the Ex-Heroes series) were some of my favorites. What were yours?
I am unfortunately a bit disorganized today, so I do not have a fresh review or thought piece for you to burn through. Instead, I want to draw attention to a great piece from another website – Unbound Worlds.
Unbound Worlds has created a fantastic introduction list to a number of various sci-fi and fantasy sub-genres called So You Want To Read… A Guide To Sci-Fi And Fantasy Subgenres. The list has all your classic mainstream sub-genres like High Fantasy or Military Sci-fi. However, it also has a number of lists for the more obscure genres out there, such as Weird Fiction and Hollow Earth Fiction. It is a great resource for starting the various genres, and while their lists are certainly not exhaustive I find I can’t argue with almost any of their recommendations. If you are feeling genre fatigue, want to diversify your reading, or are just looking for some sub-genre all-stars you might have missed – check it out!